Prof. Dr. Jürgen Paul


Dr. Wolfgang Holzwarth


other Phases of Research:

2001–2004 (B2)

Project Group D: Integration and Attachment, Project D5

Between Loss of Power and Market Integration: Central Asian Nomads in Colonial Times


The research project (D5) is concerned with nomadic-sedentary interaction in the Russian protectorate of Bukhara and in the formerly Bukharan province of Samarkand, which had come under direct Russian rule in 1868.

The project continues the investigation that started with the previous project (B2) on the relations between the state and tribal groups, addressing in particular the political and military role played by Uzbek tribes in Central Asia. Focusing on the colonial period, the present project considers a historical constellation in which the political balance of power between the state and the Uzbek tribes had – in comparison with the 16th and 18th centuries – shifted decidedly in favour of the central power.

Proposing that the descendants of the former nomadic conquerors, who had traditionally constituted a privileged military estate in the khanate/emirate of Bukhara, had lost their military capacity and social prerogatives by the time of the colonial rule, the project seeks to investigate how the Uzbek tribal groups coped with social change. Besides political and military aspects, special attention will be given to economic strategies by which these groups responded to the loss of income derived from military services. The integration of Central Asian nomads into a regional economy shaken by European intervention and the emerging colonial market are at the core of the present research. Research will be pursued through case studies on three settings, each with a distinctive scenario within its geographical scope, that highlight different aspects of political and economic change in colonial context:

  1. World-market orientated sheep-breeding: The Karakul boom in Central Bukhara;
  2. Horse-breeding and dry farming: The "pacified" Laqai-Uzbeks in East Bukhara;
  3. Cotton plantations on winter pastures: Settlers and nomads in the Samarkand region.

The study is based on published Russian colonial reports as well as on published and manuscript sources in Central Asian languages with a stress on Bukharan archival sources.


Prof. Dr. Jürgen Paul

The State and the Military – a Nomadic Perspective. In: Mitteilungen des SFB "Differenz und Integration" 5 (2003), 25–68.

Nomaden in persischen Quellen. In: Mitteilungen des SFB "Differenz und Integration" 1 (2002), 11–40.

(ed.): Katalog sufischer Handschriften aus der Bibliothek des Instituts für Orientalistik der Akademie der Wissenschaften, Republik Usbekistan. Stuttgart 2002 (Verzeichnis der Orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland, Supplementband 37).

The Histories of Isfahan: Mafarrukhi's Kitâb mahâsin Isfahân. In: Iranian Studies 33 (2000), 117–132.

The Histories of Herat. In: Iranian Studies 33 (2000), 93–115.

Doctrine and Organization. The Khwâjagân-Naqshbandîya in the First Generation after Bahâ'uddîn. Berlin/Halle 1998 (ANOR 1). Russian translation under the title: "Doktrina i organizacija Chwadzhagan-Naqšbandija v pervom pokolenii posle Bacha' ad-dina" (translation: E. Berezina). In: A. Chismatulin (ed.): Sufizm v central'noj Azii. Zarubezhnye issledovanija. Sankt Peterburg 2001, 114–199.

Herrscher, Gemeinwesen, Vermittler: Ostiran und Transoxanien in vormongolischer Zeit. Stuttgart 1996 (Beiruter Texte und Studien 59).

The State and the Military: The Samanid Case. Bloomington (Ind.), 1994 (Papers on Inner Asia 26).

The Histories of Samarqand. In: Studia Iranica 22 (1993), 62–92.

Die politische und soziale Bedeutung der Naqšbandiyya in Mittelasien im 15. Jahrhundert. Berlin 1991.

Hagiographische Texte als historische Quelle. In: Saeculum 41 (1990), 17–43.

Dr. Wolfgang Holzwarth

Relations between Uzbek Central Asia, the Great Steppe and Iran, 1700–1750. In: S. Leder/B. Streck (eds.): Shifts and Drifts in Nomad-Sedentary Relations. Wiesbaden. Im Druck.

Sources of Gilgit, Hunza and Nager History (1500–1800) and Notes on the Oral Roots of Local Historiography. In: H. Kreutzmann (ed.): Karakorum in Transition. Karachi/Oxford. Im Druck.

The Uzbek State as Reflected in Eighteenth Century Bukharan Sources. In: Mitteilungen des SFB "Differenz und Integration" 4/2, OWH 15 (2004), 93–129.

Nomaden und Seßhafte in turkî-Quellen (narrative Quellen aus dem frühen 16. Jahrhundert). In: Mitteilungen des SFB "Differenz und Integration" 2, OWH 4 (2002), 147–165.

Change in Pre-Colonial Times. An Evaluation of Sources on the Karakorum and Eastern Hindukush Regions (from 1500 to 1800). In: I. Stellrecht (ed.): Karakorum-Hindukush–Himalaya: Dynamics of Change. Köln 1998, 297–337.

Die Ismailiten in Nordpakistan. Zur Entwicklung einer religiösen Minderheit im Kontext neuer Außenbeziehungen. Berlin 1994 (Ethnizität und Gesellschaft. Occasional Papers 21).